A husband and wife journey
23-year-old Jane Atenyo Franca is a mother of two. She got pregnant at school when she was 17. Her boyfriend left her and she was forced to drop out of education. She later married someone else who already had two wives but left him after suffering multiple miscarriages. She has since married again and had a second child.
She learnt about RHU’s Gulu Clinic after attending a health forum that the clinic had organised in her village.
“They talked about family planning, HIV, and they talked about very many diseases.
“I decided to come back for family planning. I came back with my husband and we had counselling together. We agreed to go for the implant method.
“My husband was initially worried about being seen by other people. He was worried that people might think we had a sexually transmitted disease but I talked to him about reproductive health and about the importance of not having too many children.
“I am glad that we have been able to space the number of children we have.
“Family planning has helped me a lot. Some of my friends have had many children and they seem old and tired. I am not growing old, I am fresh.
“Some people used to say that you would bleed until you die with an implant but there is nothing wrong with me: I am free and fresh.”
Atenyo Franca Jane said she now goes to the clinic for a range of services.
“I am back today because I have pain in my abdomen. I also have a swollen foot.”
She said she would recommend RHU and Gulu Clinic to all her friends because the staff were friendly, welcoming and gave good advice.
Follow a day in the life of our team and clients in Gulu, Uganda
7am: The team prepare for the long day ahead
"Every year tens of thousands of Ugandans come to our clinic. Everyone is welcome. Here are just a few of the people that we served in one day last month."
8am: Nancy, 19, becomes a volunteer
"I was suffering but when I came here, I was treated and I got better. Now I'm inspired to volunteer here"
9am: Monica, 25, a sex worker's story
"I am sex working. I came here for Hepatitis B testing and also counselling. I have so many personal problems, but here….they’re so caring."
10am: Jane, 23, saved by family planning
"After multiple miscarriages, family planning here has helped me a lot. I'm glad we've been able to space the number of children we've had. I am not growing old, I am fresh."
11am: Vicky, handling disabilities
"I'm deaf so accessing services is hard, but here they really try to speak in sign language."
12pm: Dorcus, first time patient
"This is the first time I've ever come here, I like the service. They give good counselling so I recommend coming."
1pm: Christine, 45, a grandmother's tale of living with HIV
"I am living with HIV and had HPV. They treated me and now I'm free of cervical cancer."
2pm: Lilian, struggling mother of six with sickle cell
" I have sickle cell disease and so do all my children. I want to have my tube removed so that I don't get pregnant again but I don't know if my husband will allow it."
3pm: Brenda and Francis get fertility treatments
"Fertility treatment is a sensitive issue in Uganda but they help us a lot and we get proper treatment."
4pm: Joyce, 25, repected regardless of her disability
"I realised that at this place they don't segregate. Us people with disabilities have challenges at the main hospitals. You go there, people around look at you as if you are not a human being and you don't fall sick."
5pm: Mobile clinic provides outreach services to remote villages
"Our outreach to remote communities is a 'one-stop-centre'. We give family planning, vaccines for HPV, malaria, and Hepatitis B, HIV testing and more."
22pm: Still giving the last client our very best
"Together, we have great teamwork. Sometimes we're still working up to 10pm because we never chase out our clients. We’ll never close the place when we have a client inside. People come when they have no hope."